John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division, during the American Bar Association's 24th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference in Washington. The topic: “Executive Branch Updates on Developments in National Security Law.” November 6, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.
John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division, during the American Bar Association’s 24th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference in Washington. The topic: “Executive Branch Updates on Developments in National Security Law.” November 6, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. (Diego M. Radzinschi)

John Carlin, who stepped down last year as the top official for national security at the U.S. Department of Justice, is joining private practice for the first time to start a practice group at Morrison & Foerster.

The firm announced Tuesday its addition of Carlin as a partner in New York, where the longtime federal government lawyer will chair the firm’s new global risk and crisis management practice.

“It really seems like the easiest decision we’ve made in a long time to bring John in,” said partner David McDowell, co-chair of the firm’s litigation department. “John has unprecedented experience in the space, cybersecurity, economic espionage and a number of other places where the world is seeing a new set of risks and a new set of concerns and certainly we expect our clients will be very focused on and worried about those as time goes on.”

During his two-years as head of the Justice Department’s national security division, Carlin oversaw investigations into the email hacking scandal at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the prosecution of the Boston Marathon bomber and the indictment of five Chinese military members on economic espionage charges.

“Full sectors who never thought of themselves as tech before, and weren’t, are now facing some of the same problems and opportunities that are faced by more traditional tech companies,” Carlin said in an interview Tuesday. “That requires a new way of legal thinking and joining a firm that was already a leader in the tech space seemed like a good fit.”

Carlin, a Harvard Law School graduate, joined the Justice Department as a trial attorney in 1999, where he held several positions, including chief of staff and senior counsel to then-FBI director Robert Mueller III,

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of MoFo’s addition of Carlin.